You need to hold down the SHIFT key while dragging your layer with the  
Move Tool, otherwise GIMP will move the topmost layer which contains a  
non-transparent pixel under the pointer (since your added layer was  
transparent, the layer underneath it gets checked).

This behavior is controlled by the "Tool Toggle" setting in the Move  
Tool's Options dialog. You can change the option to move the active  
layer by default, obviating the need to hold down SHIFT.

Quoting LOEWENTHAL Simon <si...@klunky.co.uk>:

>
> Dear all,
>
>       Is there a tutorial that could tell me how to sort out this problem.
>
> 1) Created a new transparent layer
> 2) Pasted image into layer.
> 3) Noticed that I could not do anything else with Gimp so do a
> New - Layer, and it created something called a Pasted Layer.
> 4) Used select tool to select the pasted image and it correctly
> highlighted the whole image.
> 5) Used the Move Tool to move the highlighted image, but instead of only
> moving the highlighted image Gimp moved the 'whole' background and the
> image as it it were one item!
>
> How can I uncouple these two things, which I presume conprise of i) the
> image and ii) the background colour.
>
> I am a bit confused because although Gimp can clearly identify and
> select/highlight the pasted image, when it comes to moving the image it
> cannot differentiate between the pasted image and the background.  So,
> what has linked these two together?


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